Have you read the news? Konami is getting out of the console business and moving onto mobile games. Hideo Kojima and most of its influential game designers have moved on, not a single major console hit remains on its docket after The Phantom Pain launches in September, and profits are up even after all these lifeblood cuts. Everywhere you read, this is the feeling you get, and it seems the only one who doesn’t think so is Konami.
The company has just launched a “Heritage Gameplay Survey” asking fans what classic franchises it wants to see revived. All the greats are here from Castlevania, Gradius, and Contra to maybe some of the lesser known stuff like Mystical Ninja, Rocket Knight, and my own beloved Suikoden.
It might be just good PR while Konami battles its demons, but it could equally be Konami genuinely trying to fix its shattered relationship with the gaming crowd. An olive branch, so to say. Keep that in mind as you vote, and also remember this: video games are more than just labels and brands. There are humans and artistic decisions going into these games, and many of these people and their philosophies are no longer at Konami.
Koji Igarashi, the man behind the best Castlvania games, is not longer there, and we’ve seen how Castlevania looks without his guidance. The same goes for Yoshitaka Murayama, the man who wrote and directed the best Suikoden games. Others have tried to step in but simply don’t have the same touch. Rocket Knight falls into that category as well.
And while Konami itself owns the properties, Konami is not human. It is an entity that can’t make artistic decisions. Just because Konami develops a game from your favorite series again doesn’t guarantee greatness. Certainly not while it bleeds its talented developers by treating them horribly.
Take this poll in stride, but do so carefully.